Book Definition: Albert Ellis' brand of cognitive therapy, based on the idea that irrational thoughts and behaviors are the cause of mental disorders. Also known as (REBT)


  • A name derived from its method of challenging certain "irrational" beliefs and behaviors.
  • Originally called rational therapy,it was later changed to it's current name in 1959.

In Your Own Words

  • Focuses on uncovering irrational beliefs that can lead to unhealthy negative emotions and replacing them with more productive or rational behaviors.
  • Driving thought processes to be more realistic than extraneously positive or negative beliefs.
  • Don't "should" yourself.
  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a form of psychotherapy and a philosophy of living created
  • Thinking about something negative is the reason people are having mental difficulties.


  • The story where the scholar with straight A's all his life earned a single B and committed suicide off a classroom building. He could have definitely used REBT to help him straighten out his priorities and learned to think the situation through rationally.
  • People that believe they need a partner at all times, and when they don't, they become depressed.
  • In the movie "stranger than fiction" Will Ferrell's character repeats everything each day when he goes to work, believing he has to do everything right in order to have a good life, and when he is interrupted by the voice in the movie he is off track and bothered.
  • If a person were to tell you that you were going to be a professional athlete when you grew up, which would most likely not be a reality then you would go through your entire life only to be anticipating failure.
  • A student who believes they must always make honor roll and then has meltdown that one semester they don't would benefit from REBT.

Additional Resources